Wednesday, June 29, 2011

ROBBLOG # 285


July 20th marks a milestone for Swisssh the Website!
That's the other place on the web where I write- and others write too. You'll find it at swisssh.ca Swisssh the Website will be 5 years old on July 20th and what a busy 5 years it's been!

In the beginning, I self-promoted my butt cheeks off! There was no budget for advertising you see. There were few advertisers. Most expected to get their message out there for FREE!
Many still do today.
It's a website after all. Who in the Hell reads that?
You'd be surprized!- I'd say.
Then I would hear-
Can you put this on?
We don't have a budget, so we were wondering if...
Meanwhile, I see splashy, colour brochures.
Then, radio and newspaper advertising from many of those same folks-
but not a penny for Swisssh.

Usually I would do the community thing and add their poster or info to the website.
Then, a few days later an ad would appear in the Packet & Times or Orillia Today.
I had dreams that I could make a few bucks each month. Problem is- I am not a salesman. I couldn't afford to hire anyone, so I had to do everything myself.
With no money I had to "talk Swisssh up"- if I wanted to get the Swisssh name out there.

I would go to Media Events and come home and write something for Swisssh.
I would go to shows and come home and write a review- late at night, just to beat all the others.

I did have a few people help over the years. For a couple of years, Sarah Bowers-Peter wrote a great column- about her daily life and things that "bugged" her.
Jim Hill wrote some theatrical reviews.
Krista Storey wrote some interesting articles too until someone took exception at "Shitty" Hall and she ..... ~ahem~ That's for another time.
Freedom of the press?
Not in good old Orillia Town.

There were others too- like Deanna, who shared a personal, life experience- beating cancer. I probably got more e-mails about her column than any other. Everyone wanted to know here real name, since Deanna was a "nom d'plume".
In Swisssh the Website's second year, Swisssh Radio was born. A fourth year anniversary was celebrated this past March.
Wow!

Swisssh Radio tends to be my main focus these days. This little online radio station has listeners around the world from Germany to Mexico, Chile to Australia, France to Russia and from China to Vietnam.
Oh yes- across Canada too- as well as right here at home.

These days, it's been harder finding the time to write.
You would not believe how much I write!

I write about many things.
That's why I started the Blog.
On this blog I write what I want- in my own style.
Many times it's a story.
I also write theatrical shows and many have been produced over the years under the banner of Double R Productions and The Garage Door Players.
That is very time consuming.
I believe I have three finished shows right now just sitting there, stored in my computer. Two more are being written.

Why am I telling you all this?
I have a very good reason.
Swisssh the Website is changing.
The website from this moment on is just the website for Swisssh Radio.
There will be no Dame Clare.
No Baby Jane and Blanche.
No Bert Gooddamn or the Story Lady.
No reviews etc.
But wait!
Everything is not just going to vanish in a puff of pink smoke!

The Story Lady has been appearing on my Blog the past year, along with a new storyline about Lilloweth, Betsy and Helen- three bovines who live in Farmer Frank's Barn. Four short adventures all about the gals have been published already.
Baby Jane and Blanche will now appear on this blog from time to time.
Dame Clare has had her own page there for over a year now. That's where you'll keep up to date with her adventures at the Palais Royal and Poo Poo Pawi during the winter months.
I hear you saying- What do you hope to accomplish?
More free time! I want to cut my writing down by half.
I also have a "milestone" birthday- dammit, just around the corner and I am cutting back. De-cluttering you might say. I love the characters I have imagined- especially when real life actors bring them "to life" on stage for me.
That is an indescribable feeling of "happy"!
It makes me smile.
A lot.

Now, all you'll see is Swisssh Radio at swisssh.ca
There will be some advertisers- mostly those who have commercials running on Swisssh Radio. You will still see a reduced version of Community Post-ed Notes- at least for the time being.

I want to thank you for reading Swisssh the Website over the past five years. The site still gets around 1000+ views each month. You'll just have to train yourself to pop into this Rob Reid Online Blog Site to see what's on the "slab".
(That's a line from Rocky Horror- in case you were wondering!)

By the way, I have 15 blogs to publish to reach RobBlog #300!

Stayed tuned...
and thanks again for reading that other website- Swisssh, over these past 5 years!

Monday, June 27, 2011

ROBBLOG # 284

One summer day, a smallish, young man with a penchant for singing show tunes walked along his street to a quiet little parkette just around the corner from his little house.
The day was bright and warm with oodles of sunshine.

He carried- in a little pink case, his beloved pussy-cat. Her name was Miss Chinchilla. Miss Chinchilla loved to go to the parkette with the little man. He carried some special teats just for Miss Chinchillain his tiny pockets along with a bottle of fresh water. Miss Chinchilla purred with delight.

Not to be left out, the smallish, young man had also packed a picnic lunch for himself. He had made cheese sandwiches and placed a bunch of olives in a sealed plastic container. The little man loved olives as much as he loved his pussy cat. He also carried a huge jug of ice-cold lemonade. All this was safely tucked into a big, yellow backpack he had flung over his shoulders.

As he walked along the smallish, young man sang some of his favourite showtunes! He belted- “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” from Oklahoma. “It's a Priviledge to Pee” from Urinetown. Even one of his newest favourites from The Book of Mormon called- “I Believe”. He even accompanied himself on the harmonica which was a feat in itself. He played and sang and sang and played. Even Miss Chinchilla purred along in perfect harmony!

They soon arrived at the parkette. The smallish,young man walked to his favourite bench beneath his favourite Maple tree and sat down with his pussy by his side. He started to sing one of his most favourite Broadway tunes from Flower Drum Song- “I Enjoy Being a Girl”.

As he did so a group from the local Baptist Church- who were sitting on blankets spread on the ground under a huge Oak, heard the song he was singing. A few of them rose to their feet from the blankets and walked to where the smallish man was seated- singing, on the bench.

They stood in front of him and told him he was going to Hell for singing such a song. A big black man who told the smallish man his name was Henderson, spoke first.
"Dear Sir, did you know it is just plain wrong for a man to sing the words you are singing? Why, what if Jesus was to come upon you just sitting here on this bench singing those words?"
The smallish, young man looked at the group standing in front of him. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a few pussy treats and gave a few to Miss Chinchilla. Then he opened the backpack he had placed on the bench next to him. Unzipping the zipper he reached inside. He snapped open the plastic container and ate three olives. Then, he took out a cheese sandwich- on whole wheat, unwrapped it, then took a big bite.

Henderson spoke again.
“You just must not be listening to the words we all are saying to you Brother. You will be confined to the fires of damnation for eternal life for singing those sinful songs from Broadway.”

“Oh well,” said the smallish, young man, “Guess I`ll see you there then!”

Henderson started to fume but being a good Christian Man he said no more. He just said a silent prayer, spun on his heels and motioned for the others to follow. They returned to the rest of the Baptist Church group who were still seated on their blankets beneath the huge Oak Tree.

He took a few more bites of the cheese sandwich. Then the smallish, young man poured himself a glass of lemonade and sipped away, all the while keeping an eye on the Baptists.

Suddenly and without warning Miss Chinchilla- his lovely pussycat, opened the door of her little pink case, stepped out and sat on the bench next to the smallish, young man. Miss Chincilla pondered the situation. The smallish, young man seemed sad. She looked up at the smallish young man and winked an eye.

Taking a Black and Decker chainsaw out of her pink case, she scampered over to where the Baptists were sitting on their blankets. She climbed a few feet up the huge Oak Tree and made a nice, clean cut right through it. The mighty tree fell, right on top of the Baptists sitting beneath.

The smallish young man and Miss Chinchilla thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the day eating cheese sandwiches, olives and pussy treats. They drank lemonade and fresh bottled water.

The Baptists never bothered the smallish young man ever again.

The End.

Friday, June 24, 2011

ROBBLOG #283 W E E K E N D Edition

You’re not supposed to say bad things about the dead!


Rob Ford is a homophobic, conservative, rat-bastard. That’s okay to say that isn’t it? I mean Mayor Ford is alive and kicking- kicking many Torontonians who voted for him right in the pedonkles.  For pete’s sake people- what did you expect? Mr. Nice?
It’ll be the same once Mr. Harper shows his real side- the smarmy one. Everyone will be so surprized- won’t they? Okay, maybe not too surprized since the PM has shown that side many times already.
Now Mr. Ford- call him “fatty Ford” like some of the media is doing, is digging in his heels saying he won’t attend the Toronto Pride Parade as have Mayors before him. Again, is anybody surprized? Mr. Ford does not seem to have his little sausage fingers on the pulse of the city but rather on plates of greasy, fryer-cooked finger food. He says that family is more important. That’s why he’s not going to Pride events including one of the largest, crowd-gathering parades in all of Toronto- if not the whole country.
I agree with Mr. Ford. Family is important. However, when you were elected to the office of “First Fatty” of Toronto- like the Queen who is the head of all things royal in the British Commonwealth, you have to be prepared to give up some personal, family type things that you like to do. You know Robbie- like licking the grill of the BBQ clean after frying up a few steaks in the wilds of Huntsville.
Ask Liz.
She’ll tell you that there are days she’d like to pull up a royal footstool, leave her hair in curlers, put her feet up and watch trashy movies for the day wrapped in a raggedy, old pink chenille housecoat. She can’t most days because she owes it to her country and Commonwealth to be wherever she’s required- smiling and happy. So should you. You can’t hide your Homophobic Hysterics in the forests of Muskoka forever. I mean you have to be careful there too. All kinds of nasty things happen deep in the woods- at hunt camps, logging camps and the like, where many men go to be “real” men with each other.
Pardon me while I gag at that thought.
No, Robbie-Poo, you have to confront your fears and get your large ass out to a few Pride Events. Start with something simple- like a flag raising. It’s out in the open. There’ll be some Heteros around too. You can scream for help- like a little girl, if one of the boys tries to “come on” to you. Nobody is telling you to look at the naked butts of guys who are 98% better built than you. Nobody is saying- “have a gander at some “Gay junk” or sweaty pectorals”- at least not yet.
Say- has anyone told you that you might be able to sneak a peek at a Lesbian tittie or two? No? That’s a shame. That might be something right up your alley. Actually, the Lesbians might just like your big gut- especially if it giggles while you dance.
Maybe you don’t.
Dance I mean. I would of course, expect you jiggle all over the place.
Now this whole Gay thing. You have to ease into it.
Slowly. Especially the Pride Parade. It can be quite the eye-opener. All those handsome men with bodies all tanned and toned, gyrating away on their respective floats as they boogie down Yonge Street. Mr. Mayor, if you make the Parade, you’ll want to divert your eyes form those TNT Men. They are totally starkers- except for running shoes and trust me Robbie- it isn’t pretty. Even I can’t look. Like Lot’s wife, I am afraid I might turn to stone- or worse.


Just go to the flag-raising. It’s harmless. It’s right there at City Hall. You’d hardly have to walk any distance at all. Another day during Pride Week, take a stroll down Church Street and say “howdy” to all the guys. Just don’t wink at anybody. There are “Fatty chasers” out there. That’s right Bobby. There are Gay Men who would love to get the chance to drizzle oil and rub things of theirs all over things of yours. In particular, your layers of lard-ridden fat. Here’s a suggestion. Take a couple of the cute boys in the office along with you. Put them in tight white tee shirts and you’ll have it made in the shade. If you can’t decide which office boys are cute- or Gay, ask the office girls. They’ll know. Isn’t this easy?
Oh, listen Bob- don’t stuff anything down the shorts of the cute boys you take along with you, thinking it’ll make you more attractive to the “gays”. It’ll just make you a bigger phoney than you already are proving to be. Oh come on Bobby, you are certainly not the “people’s” Mayor are you? Especially if you’re going to let a few Gay Boys and “tough-looking” Lesbians scare you away. Let’s not even mention the Drag Queens and Trannies and…
Get out there and find out what those people and the community is really like. The Gay Village is a part of your Toronto after all. Then, after walking Church Street and maybe even taking part in the Pride Parade on Sunday July 3rd, I’ll bet you’ll start dropping a few pounds to get ready for next year’s march. You’ll have that much fun! Honest!
Heck you might even squeeze into a tighty-whitey Tee Shirt of your own this time next year. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
The mind boggles.
Anything is possible.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

ROBLOG #282


This story first appeared on my RobBlog on a cold January day. Today, I just happened to be reading through some "old" blogs and decided that this one was worth repeating now that it is the summer of the year.
Enjoy- even if it is a repeat and you've read it before.

Faeries!

All through our childhood we are lead to believe that faeries are these wonderful, woodland creatures with delicate wings made of shimmering, spun sunshine. Their faces are exceedingly pretty. Their smiles- most enticing. Faeries are nice. They love us. They look over us. They care for us. They live in harmony with us. They look like Neil Patrick Harris. Some are ruggedly handsome liek Hugh Jackman!

Many of us believe that faeries live in small, mossy meadows next to hollowed out logs.
Some do.
Many do, in fact.
Others don’t.
However, I’m here to tell you that Faeries can be bastards.
Are you surprised?

Take a beautiful summer day, just two weeks ago. Stanley and Ernest packed a picnic lunch in their favourite wicker basket- the one with the overlapping leather-covered handles and headed off into the meadow for an afternoon picnic lunch. The sun was warm but not too hot. The redbirds were singing in the trees and the crickets were creating a marvellous symphony in the tall grass.

Ernest spread their favourite Hudson’s Bay Blanket on the fragrant grass just at the outer edges of shade, created by the enormous branches of a huge, nearby oak tree growing tall and stately next to a shimmering lake. They had christened the Lake “Bosley Bay” when they first purchased the rural farmhouse property eight years ago last month. Bosley had been their beloved yellow retriever that had passed several summers before.

Stanley carefully unfolded a checked tablecloth and set to work placing utensils and plates on top while Ernest surveyed their expansive property. Two hundred acres of bliss! Stanley decided to leave the chilled potato salad, devilled eggs and cured Saskatchewan Honey-Ham until Ernest and he were both sitting on the blanket, ready to eat. There was no sense taking a chance that June temperatures might “turn” the mayonnaise in the devilled eggs.
“How ‘bout a glass of lemonade and a pinch of London Dry Gin?- Stanley asked Ernest as he reached for the insulated pitcher in the basket.
“Oh yes! Lovely”- said Ernest, “what a perfect start to a beautiful summer afternoon. Say Stanley, how about we take a dip in the pond before we eat?”

"Crackerjack idea Ernest. Oh, Lets!”

Ernest opened up the straps on the little blue satchel he had slung over his shoulder as they left the house and walked over hill and dale to the meadow. Inside were two swimming costumes and a pair of large bathing towels imprinted with the words “Aloha Hawaii- Official Bikini Contest Judge”. They had giggled a good one over those towels when they bought them at that roadside stand in Waipahu, over in Hawaii two years before.

“Here’s your bathing costume Stanley. Now scurry into it you furry little beast!”- said Ernest, his eyes wide with anticipation. He tossed the costume at Stanley’s face. “ Hurry, now. Show us your tits, Dear!”

Ernest’s eyes were as big as a schoolgirl’s in anticipation of what he was about to see.

“You naughty boy!”- laughed Stanley, “Mama’s gonna show you everything. Be patient my Darling.”

Ernest snatched his own suit from the bag, slipped off his beach thongs and peeled out of his shirt and shorts. He folded them neatly, placing them on a corner of the blanket. Then he slipped into his suit carefully pulling it up his long legs, his beefy thighs and up and over his groin- to his waist.

Stanley did the same as Ernest watched him, a smile pursing his lips.
Ernest grabbed his bright red waterwings from the satchel and blew into the nozzel to inflate them. He clamped them snugly about his waist.

“Come on Dear. The lake is liable to evaporate before we dip our toes in it, the time you’re taking”- says Stanley.

“Ready now Dear.”

Stanley and Ernest trotted past the huge oak and over the small rise to the shore of the small lake.

Suddenly, they heard a tittering in the bushes along the shore to their right, next to a huge hollow log.
The tittering turned to snickering.
Then outright laughter.
Followed by annoying, loud guffaws.

“It’s those bloody Faeries, Ernest, that live along the shore by that old hollow log over yonder. I’d know that laughter anywhere!”

Stanley slipped an arm around Ernest’s shoulders.
“We must remember to call the exterminators.”

Then in a blinking of an eye a group of 10 or twelve Faeries stumbled out of the one end of the log. They laughed and pointed at Ernest and Stanley standing there on the edge of the lake in their bathing costumes- Ernest in his waterwings.
The laughter continued.
Ernest and Stanley spun on their bare heels and proceeded back to their picnic blanket, the Faerie’s laughter filling their ears.
They felt very bad the rest of the entire afternoon.

I told you that Faeries can be bastards!

Monday, June 20, 2011

ROBBLOG #281

Over the weekend I was trying to think of a way to say something nice about “something”, when I didn’t really mean what I was actually saying but really quite the opposite. Follow me?

I was simply stuck. I didn’t not knowing how to phrase something nice about something that wasn’t. So, instead of hurting my poor little brain, I turned to the Net and decided to do a few searches. I used such phrases as:
How to say kind things to somebody when you mean the exact opposite.
How to say something nice when you really don’t mean what you are saying.
How to say nice things when you don’t mean it.
How to hide what you really feel when you say something that sounds nice.

I got some ideas but nothing I could use. However, I came upon a few things you may or may not want to say while having a one on one conversation with say- Atilla the Hun- or even Stephen Harper. Read on and please do not attribute these phrases all to me. I am simply passing them along as let’s say- a “Public Service”.                                                            Here they are:
Any similarity between you and a human is purely coincidental!
Anyone who told you to be yourself couldn`t have given you worse advice.
Are your parents siblings?
As an outsider, what do you think of the human race?
Calling you stupid would be an insult to stupid people.
Do you ever wonder what life would be like if you`d had enough oxygen at birth?
Do you still love nature, despite what it did to you?
Here`s 20 cents. Call all your friends and bring back some change!
I`d like to see things from your point of view but I can`t get my head that far up my ass.
I could make a monkey out of you, but why should I take all the credit?
I don`t know what makes you so stupid, but it really works!
I hear you were born on a farm. Are there any more in the litter?
I`d like to help you out. Which way did you come in?
I`ll never forget the first time we met - although I`ll keep trying.
If I stand close enough to you, I can hear the ocean.
I know what you’re thinking. Some of these are downright nasty. So, compromise.
Just say them quietly to yourself when you’re in the check-out line at the grocery store and there’s someone in front of you who is having a hissy fit about the price of the dill pickles.
Use them when your friendly neighbourhood Jehovah’s Witness comes to your door. It might even work on the Mormon Boys but then again they are usually so angelic and un-worldly that they wouldn’t get a good “toss” if it hit them smack on the top of their pretty little heads.
So there they are. A few nasty little things you might get away with repeating- if you plaster a smile on your face or add “Bless your little heart” after saying each one.

Have fun!

Friday, June 17, 2011

ROBBLOG #280 W E E K E N D Edition


“Do you hear that commotion out there?”- Betsy asked as she went out her morning duties in her housestall. “It sounds like a whole herd of cattle.”

“Well Dear, we are living on a Farm.”- Lilloweth chimed. Miss Lilloweth lived in the housestall right next door to Betsy.

Both stalls were quite homey. Bric-a-brac lined shelves in Betsy’s housestall. She had a smart, compact cow-kitchen, where she made tea and baked her secret-recipe scones. Red gingham curtains framed the window at the far end of the housestall. Next door at Lilloweth’s stall she had hung faux leopard skin curtains on the two by four window. African knick-knacks were everywhere- Lilloweth loved stories about Africa and she hoped to travel there one day. Above her colour television set on the south wall hung a sturdy shelf where here reliable, old Philco radio sat. It was usually turned on and this morning was no exception.

The windows in both housestalls looked out to the southwest side of the barn across to a lovely patch of fertile, green grass next to the farmhouse that stood along its edge.

“Goodness Gracious!”- Betsy said a moment or two later. “What in Bovine Heaven’s name is that noise?”

“Hollar up to Helen. She’ll know.” Added Lilloweth as she picked up a dust cloth and shooed away the “bunnies” scattered beneath her bed. She hummed along with the radio, which was playing a snappy country tune.

“That’s a good idea. I’ll see if she’s in. Helen. Helen Dear. Are you reading me?”
Betsy called up a few stalls away. Helene lived in a beautiful. Modern stall right near the barn door. It was decorated in pink and fuchsia and always smelled of fresh gardenias.

“Helen. Helen. Are you in?” Betsey tried again and stopped a moment to listen for a reply.

“Yes My Dear. I am here. Just watching Marilyn Dennis over on CTV and I had to turn the sound down before I answered you.” Helen was delightful. Always happy. Always dressed to the nines and always in the know.

“How is Marilyn this morning?”

“Just fine. I love the shoes she’s scrunching those Darling tootsies of hers into. They’re a glorious red colour. Beet Red- with just a bit of sequins across the toes. Fabulous Dear. I wonder if they come in size 24 Double D?” Helen stopped talking.

“You could always look on the Internet thing Dear but I wouldn’t get my hopes up.”

“What did you need Dear?” Helen got to the point.

“I was wondering if you knew what the commotion was all about. Lilloweth and I are curious.” Betsy was about to say it sounded like a herd or something when Lilloweth butt in.

“Helen sweetie.” Lilloweth called up the stalls, “ I wasn’t wondering at all. Betsy brought it up. The commotion was disturbing her. I was listening to Johnny Reid’s new song on the Philco.”

“Of course you were Dear. That Johnny Reid’s a real cutie- isn’t he?”

“I’ll say!” Lilloweth continued. “Almost as milky as Farmer Frank and we all know for me, that’s saying a bunch! I love me my Farmer Frank!”

“We know Lilloweth. We know!” Helen chuckled. "Betsy Dear- are you still there?”- Helen asked ever so politely before continuing.

“Yes Helen. I am still here. So what’s up? Do you know?

“It could be the new girl arriving. Farmer Frank was bringing in some new young thing from over at South Creek Farm. I heard him telling Jerry the Hired Hand last week.”

“I’ll bet that’s it then!”- Betsy cried! “It’ll be the new gal. Ladies. Shouldn’t we amble out to see and say welcome?”

“Oh, I suppose Betts. That would be the neighbourly thing to do. Let me shut off the Philco and grab my hat.” Lilloweth reached up and clicked off the Philco. She snatched her hat from the sideboard and trotted next door to Betsy’s housestall.

Betsy was wrapping a hoofful of new straw she kept in the straw jar on the kitchen counter. “We’ll just take this along for a gesture of welcome. Lilloweth can you write a couple of words in this blank card while I finish?”
“Sure thing Betts.” Lilloweth picked the pen and started to compose.

“I’ll call Helen and see if she’s ready. Helen! Helen! Are you ready?”

Helen called back. “Yes Dear. By the time you two get up here. I’ll be waiting.”

“Okay. See you in a bit.” Betsy ended her call just as Lilloweth was sealing the envelope with the welcome card stuffed carefully inside. The gals left Betsy’s housestall and walked up the aisle towards the barn door and Helen’s housestall.

“I hope the new gal feels at home here. It’s so hard to move to some new barnyard- isn’t it?” Betsy asked Lilly.

“Yes Doll. It’s a bit of a harrowing experience. I have said it before and I say it again, we are all so lucky to be under Farmer Frank’s watchful eye and care.”

“You have that right sister!” They both smiled.

Helen was waiting for them. She was wearing a beautiful yellow bonnet trimmed in silk daisies. The gals exchanged pleasantries and they turned towards the big barn door to exit into the cowyard.

“There’s the little waif. Over there!” Betsy pointed with glee.

“Oh My Goodness!”- Helen sighed. “She’s just a bit of a thing."

“Oh Dear. She looks positively frightened half to death.”-added Lilloweth. “Lets’ show her some kindness.

The girls tromped over to the new arrival. One by one they introduced themselves. The Young Miss actually seemed more relaxed and even tried to smile faintly. She told the gals her name was Fanny.

“Oh Goodness! Such a name for a bit of a thing.”- said Helen. “Don’t you worry Dear. You have friends here.
Betsy and Lilloweth concurred.

“Let’s get you inside and settled and then we’ll show you around the place.”- Lilloweth urged Fanny to follow them to the barn. They all took one of Fanny’s packed boxes to lighten her load. “I believe you’ll be in housestall 223. At least that’s the one that Farmer Frank has been working on this week. Here it is.”

They all stopped in front of number 223.
Betsy spoke first.
“He’s made sure it’s all neat and tidy. A pair of country curtains on that window there- that is if you like the country-look Fanny?"
“Oh I do. Indeedy, I do. It’s lovely.” Fanny seemed pleased.

“Put a rug on the floor, hang a couple of pictures on the walls and it’ll soon seem like home.” Betsy could picture the competed housestall.

“I am sure it will.” Fanny spoke softly. “I don’t know how to repay you three.”

“There’s nothing to re-pay Dear. We are all happy to do it for you. We want you to feel like you belong.” Helen was sincere.

“Oh and Farmer Frank is the best. So kind and so strong and nice looking too- for a human.” Lilloweth smiled.

“Lilly here has a thing for Farmer Frank- especially when he removes his plaid shirt when the sun gets too warm!” Betsy laughed.
“Oh stop it. You’ll have the girl thinking all kinds of things!”- Lilloweth was flushed. She could feel it in her cheeks.

They all chuckled. Fanny set down her box and Helen, Betsy and Lilloweth set their down right next to Fanny’s.

“We’ll give you an hour or so Fanny,”- said Betsy, “Then we’ll meet you outside under the willow tree and give you the grand tour.

“Yes, I would like to freshen up a bit and find my camera. I know it’s packed in one fo these boxes- somewhere.” Fanny began to look a little overwhelmed at the prospect of unpacking.

“Dear.”- interrupted Helen. “Take your time. I’m sure your camera is in that box that says ‘electronics’.” Helen pointed a manicured hoof to the largest of the 4 boxes. “ So have a boo there. Sit for a bit. I’ll bring you a lemon tee while you open up that box. I’ll be back in a sec.” Helen left for her housestall on the other side of the door.
“Look, we’ll see you in a bit outside. Take your time for goodness sake.”- said Betsy.

“You will like it here. We promise. Bye!”

Lilloweth and Betsy walked back to the big barn door. As they did they heard Helen’s tea kettle whistling a happy tune.

“Fanny will feel better with a good hot cup of tea inside her stomachs.”- Betsy chimed.

“Oh yes. Best thing for a fresh start. Lemon Tea.”

Lilly followed Betts out the door into the warm morning air.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

ROBBLOG Xtra # 279


Two Blogs in one day?
Impossible?
Nope. Those Hockey Preople have me riled up. Read on.
NOTE: There is foul language afoot so be warned.

This is sport?

As if hockey isn’t violent enough on the ice with cuts, bruises, brain concussions-even death, now the fans take it to the streets like a bunch of spoiled little brats.
Burning and looting Vancouver just because they lost a hockey game?
Boo Hoo. Cry. Sob.
Enough is enough.

Millions of dollars poured into this blight called sport- nationally, internationally and locally too.
Locally you say? Sure. When the City of Orillia spends a million dollars to update the Community Centre Arena for a few months of ice time and then the building sits deserted, there is something wrong. The Arts- specifically the Orillia Opera House, sits neglected for the most part.
No money there but just let a few hockey teams and hetero assholes whine about sport and boy there’s a facility built within the blink of an eye. Please dis-regard anything to do with the MURF.

What is hockey teaching the young?

Remember the days when Hockey was just
oogling Bobby Hull's naked Torso?
You didn't oogle? It was just me... Oh well.
 Besides name calling- the homophobic taunts. Fighting with others. Disrespect for friends and family… not much.
I see and hear it in the young people that walk past my house every day to high school.
They may not be hockey players but they are the youth of tomorrow and burning and looting is in television and movies. That’s what they see. Like insatiable Vampires sucking the blood from every living thing, people see this violence and drink it in. So, I am not surprised at the aftermath of a hockey match turning into a brawl. Now, worldwide, Vancouver- our beautiful Western City, will be known for terrible violence that we usually see on the news in Israel, Syria, Afghanistan and the like. There’s great disrespect for not only themselves- the boys I mean- but the young ladies in their company.
It’s disgusting.

Who the fuck cares about Hockey? Really.
Sure, the fans. That’s a given.
It’s the major sponsors that pour tens of millions into this thing they think is sport.
The fighting. The gangsterism is all part of it and we are supposed to support it?
Many people do.
They are call sports fans.

Oh I am sure you’ll hear and read- Well it was just a select few who did the damage.
That’s always the answer- isn’t it?
A select few.
Not the majority.
Bull-bananas.
Hockey caused this.
Hockey is to blame for the riots and looting.
Like Soccer fans in Europe.
It’s all too ugly.

Hockey promotes foul language.
(Ed: Yes, He can curse with the best of them only He didn’t learn it from Hockey) Taunting cries of - “Fag” or “you play like a girl”.)
It’s been in the news over the years.
I have heard it.
You’ve seen it.
You’ve even read about the players who are paid millions uttering nasty language, remarks about women and jeers to anyone who isn’t a sports bully.
Of course they eventually apologize.

How did it get this way.
Big business and an acceptance of “that’s just the way it is”.

Well, things need to change.
Change now.
Really.
Who the fuck gives a shit about the Stanley Cup being played in the month of June?
A few million so called fans. That's who. They all should be ashamed of themselves but I bet you many will be laughing it off over a few beers at the local watering hole tonight.

Grrrrr.

ROBBLOG #278


What a mess!

Last Saturday our main computer in the house “crashed”! We call it the “office computer”. It’s the “nerve-centre” of our in-house computer network. When it goes tits up, all the other computers- yes computers as in more than one computer in the house- including Swisssh Radio, cannot access all the information housed in the office computer.

What a time we have had but I have since learned something.

We all become very complacent thinking that all our personal documents- and pictures, are safely stored in our computer’s memory. However, on Tuesday- to begin with, we thought that much of our stuff was gone forever, including all the shows I have written, our pictures, my stories and my blogs- the whole kit and caboodle.
Poof!
Gone, gone, gone.

Thank goodness that our computer expert Richard from Nerds on Wheels was able to take everything off the Ram or whatever it’s called and download it onto another computer as well as our backup whatchamacallit.
You see? I am quite well-versed in computer technology! The day before our friend Charles- without Charles Swisssh Radio would have never made it on the air, hinted that the computer was a bit old- five years, as well as long in the tooth and it may just be shutting down. Well, he was right. The “mother-board”- I’m not cussing here, was just about toast. So, by Tuesday when Richard could assess the damage, we were thinking the worst. As it turned out things worked out better than we thought- as far as files are concerned.
We did have to run out and buy a new computer. It was just under a thousand dollars. The service charge will be a few hundred bucks too.

I learned that computers are not infallible.
A valuable lesson.
We all need to back up files- text and pictures, elsewhere. We do have this hard drive that does that but we’ve been told there are sites like Rogers and Hotmail that allow you to do it for free. Even the pictures from this blog get saved online, through the blogsite I use. Others charge a fee for a year’s worth of files.
That’s what we are going to do.
Save information elsewhere.
I can’t afford to lose all the files. I have tons of stuff for Swisssh. There’s the plays I have written. There’s all my Blogs and much more.

So there you have it.

Everything should be back to normal come Friday- maybe Saturday. Of course I have to remember all the “favourites” I had bookmarked. I may need to download some programmes- like my “Coffee Cup FTP”, all over again. Coffee Cup FTP is how I retrieve shows such as Takin’ Ya Back. Another programme- Frostwire, is where I download many of the tunes you hear on Swisssh Radio- although I use iTunes too.

So, if you have a spare finger or two keep them crossed on Friday. Maybe- just maybe, everything will be back to normal.

God, I hope so.

Monday, June 13, 2011

ROBBLOG #277


Walter walked through the front door of Spears Department Store and made his way to the sports department.

Once there, he found his way to the bicycle section of that same department. He came upon a lady standing behind a counter . She appeared to be busily thumbing through a stack of papers piled on the counter in front of her.

“Ummm, excuse me.”-Walter spoke quietly he didn’t want to be too obtrusive.
There was no reaction from the be-speckled lady. She continued to search through the stack of papers. Walter- upon closer inspection, could see that the stack of papers appeared to be invoices of some description.

“Pardon Me.”- trying again. “Ma’am?”- he spoke a bit louder.

“First of all...”- the lady said, startling Walter just a bit. “You must see that I am busy- don’t you?”

“Well...”- Walter stumbled just a bit, “Yes. Yes. Of course, I can see that but Ma’am I just have a quick question.”

“Young Man I am not a Ma’am I happen to be a Ms. and I am proud of it.”

“Oh, Gee. I am sorry I didn’t mean to...”

“Of course you didn’t but you did didn’t you?”

Walter was quiet. He had no idea what to say to the lady…Uh...Ms.
Then, he smiled sweetly at her and said-
“Oh gosh, I am sorry. I can see you are quite busy and I should have just stood here and waited quietly until you were able to help me. I am an idiot.”

“Oh, never mind that now. You’ve disturbed me already and as for being an idiot it is the policy of Spears Department Store to never judge our customers.”

“I am very glad of that indeed.”- said Walter.

“Young Man. I am Ms. Carnegie, your Spears Department Store co-department Supervisor for Sports. It says that right here on my name tag.” She pointed to the tag.

Walter looked at her name tag. Sure enough. That’s what it said.

Ms. Carnegie began again- “How can I help you then, sir?”

“Oh. It’s my turn?”

Ms. Carnegie nodded.

Now that it was Walter’s turn, he was a little shell-shocked and it took him a second or two to say what he had come to say. He continued after a deep breath.
“Well, Ms. Carnegie”- he emphasized the ‘Ms.’ part. “You see, I bought a bicycle at your store a few days ago and I was just wondering, shouldn't a bicycle have a wheel or two?”

Ms.Carnegie stared for a moment. Walter felt a little uncomfortable.
“Young man did your bicycle come with wheels? In the box I mean.”

“Well,, actually, when I took the bicycle out of the box once I got home, I would have to say that quite precisely and without prior cause, I did not see one tire in the box. I would like to add- at this point, that I didn’t see two tires in the box. Ms. Carnegie, I have a bicycle without not one- but two tires!”

Walter waited for her answer.
Ms. Carnegie stared blankly over her glasses for a moment or two. She checked her nails and sucked in her breath once or twice. Then she looked Walter square in the eye and sputtered-
“Young man, perhaps your bicycle wasn’t supposed to have tires in the first place!”

“Ms.” Walter stopped. He thought for a moment. How he would continue?
He eventually did continue.
“Ms. Carnegie, how can I possibly ride a bicycle without one tire, let alone two?”

“I dunno,”- says Ms. Carnegie, “Have you tried?”

“Tried?”

“Yes tried.”

“You’re asking me if I have tried to ride my bicycle that came in a box from Spears Department Store- without wheels?”

“Yes.” She paused. “So have you?”

“To answer truthfully. No. I did not try to ride my bicycle without tires. I mean why would I even try?”

“Well…” Ms. Carnegie seemed to be grabbing at straws. “If that is the way your bicycle came right out of the box, perhaps that is how it was meant to be ridden. Honestly young Man, how can you stand there in front of me and try to tell me that something is wrong with your bicycle when you continue to tell me that you haven’t even tried to ride your bike in a box- without tires.”

“But Ms. Carnegie. It’s impossible to do what you ask. How would I move along the street without wheels?”

“I don’t know, Sir. Honestly maybe you should just read the instructions.”

“Maybe I should just bring that bike back to the store in its box and get my money back!”

Walter was becoming a bit perturbed!

“Well Sir, if that’s what you feel you would like to do, Spears Department Store would be more than happy to comply with your request- no matter how unreasonable it may be.”

“Okay. Now that’s what I wanted to hear. However, maybe I could exchange the bicycle I have in that box at home- the one lacking wheels, exchanging it for one of those bicycles over there…”  Walter pointed to a row of bikes standing against the wall. “… that actually have wheels!”

“Yes Sir but let’s not put the cart before the horse as it were…”

“Walter smirked- “Would that be the cart with wheels?”

“Amusing Sir. Quite amusing. Yes that would be the cart with the wheels.”

“Great!” Walter was smiling now.
“I’ll go home. Get the box- with the bike, bring my bill and the box to the store and get another bike. Right?”

“It’s that easy young man!” Ms. Carnegie seemed happy to have solved the problem for the young man.

“Thank you for your time Ms. Carnegie and have a good day.”

“It can only get better from this point on.” Ms. Carnegie returned to her pile of papers.
Walter spun on his heels and headed for the front door of Spears Department Store confident in the knowledge that he could return the wheel-less bike and choose a new one.

He was satisfied to say the least!

Friday, June 10, 2011

ROBBLOG #276 W E E K E N D Edition


Not the Golden Dragon!

A year or more ago, I watched a funny movie that was a spoof of all those King Fu movies. It was overplayed with bad acting and equally poor effects- on purpose. I wrote some notes that evening, thinking that maybe I would write a sketch for use in a future Garage Door Players’ Show. I never got around to it and I only found my notes on the Kung Fu sketch when flipping through a spiral notepad looking for notes on something entirely different. I didn’t find the notes I was searching for but I did write a bit of a story concerning the other notes.
“Hey Lob Lead. You are pliddy funny!”
We’ll see. Read on…

Fear of the Red Dragon
         or How a Floppy Disc Changed My Life

Duo Tang poured a cup of steaming tea from the terra cotta coloured, earthenware tea pot, into a small cup emblazoned with a yellow daffodil on one side. Duo Tang was clad in a very narrow piece of the whitest linen his Kingdom could provide. It was tied around his waist. He wore nothing else.

He sat cross-legged on the floor, his firm- yet small buttocks resting upon a mat made of bullrush reeds .In front of him was a small table where the tea pot sat- among other items. The table was low to the floor. Duo Tang could almost slide his kneecaps under its edge.

He lifted the cup, full of hot tea- daffodil side facing away from him, holding it aloft at the end of his outstretched arms. Bowing his head he said-
“Ow! Ho Lee Cripes. Cuppa ho ho hought tee!”

He slowly set the cup down on the low table and picked up a red napkin that had been placed next to the tea pot. It was rolled up neatly and tied with a length of black string, keeping its contents safe- as well as out of site. Duo Tang slowly and with great reverence, untied the string, briefly touching it to his lips with a silent kiss. Then, he rolled the napkin out on the table. Inside were two needles- each about 8 inches long, made from the finest sterling silver.
Duo Tang smiled.
He closed his eyes once again, saying a short prayer of thanksgiving to the Goddess- Nana Noo Noo. He picked up a needle in each hand. He dipped the tips in the hot tea and thrust a needle into the thick muscles at the top of each of his naked legs.
Duo Tang winced in pain. Removing his hands from the needles, they stood upright piercing his rice-paper coloured skin. Reaching for the cup he drank the rest of the tea. Smiling softly, he again shut his eyes for a brief, few seconds.
Suddenly and without warning he let out a piercing, devil-like scream-
“Holy Mudder in the name of the Goddess Sinn Nomore- dat huurt!
Dat hurt velly badly. Smart just a bit too!”

He poured another cup of tea and as he did so his best friend and confident- Lee Chiang, entered his space. Chaing arrived wearing a brilliant red Komona, tied with a blue sash trimmed in gold.
“You finnish now, Oh Lord and Master?” Lee Chiang asked.

“Yes. Yes. Lee Chiang. I am finnish!”- growled Duo Tang.

“Funny Master. You look more Asian than Finnish!”- he chuckled to himself.

“You look cold too Lord Duo Tang!”

“Why do you tell me this thing Lee Chiang?”

Chiang started to place the teapot and cup on a tray. He looked up at Duo Tang and said-
“Velly simple Oh Masterful Divine One, Your nipples are hard. Ouch!”

Duo Tang layered blankets of fierce stares directly at Lee Chiang.
“You finnish with funny now Lee Chiang?”- he asked. He was serious.

Lee Chiang stood erect and quite still. There was a slight smile on the edge of his full, round, reddish-coloured lips.

“Tell me Lee Chiang,”- says Duo Tang, “What news comes…”
He paused.
“Lee Chiang-“

Chiang looks at the Master full in face- “Yes Lord?”

“Lee Chiang are you wearing the colour of the Holy Rose on your lips?”

Yes, Master.”

Lee Chiang was strong of voice.
“It is Max of Factor, Red of the Jellybean.”

Duo Tang was speechless.
“Ahem.”He said."
Eventually he continued, for he wanted not to hurt a friend’s person.
“Tell Me Lee Chiang ~ahem~ what news this morning from my Kingdom Moo Goo Guy Pann?”
He pulled the needles from both legs and placed them in the white ceramic dish on the low table next to the tea pot, as he waited for Lee Chiang to answer his question.

“I shall answer you in one word Mighty Master.”

“Please do do dat Lee Chiang!”- encouraged Duo Tang as he swept his hairless right arm in a welcoming manner over the low table in front of where he perched.

Lee Chiang folded his arms across his chest and said- “Red Dragon!”

“That’s two words Lee Chiang!”

“Depends on how you spell Dragon.”- Lee Chiang said firmly.

Duo Tang decided not to commit to the conversation regarding two words or less, all he said was-
“Ah-Hah, so it is my old foe Red Dragon showing his face of ugliness in my Kingdom once more! What is he doing here this time Lee Chiang?”

“Master, he is said to be stirring things up!”

Duo Tang thought for a brief moment then said- “Stir up my people Lee Chiang?”

Lee Chiang could not help himself.

“No Master- a Betty Crocker Cake Mix!”

“Huh.” Duo Tang was taken aback in all seriousness.
Lee Chiang unfolded his arms.
“Master Tang, of course I am referring to your people. Red Dragon is stirring up your people again! Sometimes my Lord and Master you appear to be firing on just one folded paper swan!”

“Know! Your! Place!” – shouted a very angry Duo Tang, “Be quiet and do not be funny any more this good morning or I will slice a large piece off your hugely floppy disc and throw it to the dogs of my honourble “funny” friend!”

“Wwwwwwhat? But Duo Tang, you can see my floppy disc through this very attractive and flattering Komono, oh Honourable Tang?”

“Yes, of course Lee Chiang. It is the back lighting- behind you, that allows me to see through the cloth at this precise moment.”

“Lee Chiang grasped his right wrist with his left hand and held it firmly in front of his Chinese Pork Chop.

“No Good Lee Chiang.”- Duo Tang was laughing broadly now. It still shows like a cock on a fence in springtime!” He laughed out loud now. “My friend- some advice?”

“Yes. Yes, please oh Great Master of all things sane, light and wonderful! ”

Duo Tang stood up. “Wear linen boxers under Komono. Work everytime!”

Lee Chiang nodded as his eyes searched the floor at his feet. He was silent. He was too embarrassed to look up into Duo Tang’s face. His robust member had always caused him great problem- even on beach while wearing western fashion called “banana-hammock!”

Duo Tang interrupted Lee Chiang’s thoughts.
“So Lee Chiang, it is the Red Dragon we must deal with once again is it?” Tang could not stop his eyes from drifting to where Chiang held right wrist. “The secret society once again challenges the peace my people enjoy in this Kingdom. Tell me what we know so far about this Red Dragon.”

Lee Chiang was almost afraid to speak but he did- “We know nothing Master.”

“I figured so but why do we know nothing?”- Duo Tang became sullen. He stood up. Sucking his right thumb showing Lee Chiang that the white linen barely covered his nether regions.

“Why nothing? Because...” Lee Chiang was hesitant, “Because Master, it is secret sect.”

Duo Tang sat again. He was disappointed. He waited. In a few moments he looked to Lee Chiang and spoke- “Whatever I face, I face with you by my side. In my heart and in my mind.”

“I am humbled with gladsome heart and toothsome smile.” Lee Chiang was velly serious.

Duo Tang spoke again.
“A truer friend has never stood before me than you Lee Chiang. I bow to you my friend.”

“Should we kiss?”- asked Lee Chiang.

“No. People of Great Kingdom would talk and say Duo Tang is “nancy boy”. How ‘bout a high five?”

“Good enough Nancy…uh, I mean Master of All things Manly and huge!”

So, Duo Tang and Le Chiang high-fived! Although Lee Chiang would have preferred the sweetness of Duo Tang’s warm, pouty lips upon his own- like that summer in cabin, in the mountains.

“Thank you again Lee Chiang.”- said Duo Tang

“Thank you Master.” Taking the tray from the low table on which now sat the cup, teapot, napkin and the ceramic dish holding the bloodied needles. Lee Chiang spoke.
“I leave you with this advice from the Mother Goddess- he that likes pleasure shall buy pleasure.”

“Thank You. And to you my friend Lee Chiang I say- The moving finger- writes!”

“Acknowledged Master. A good day until I bring more news.”

Lee Chiang turned and walked away, leaving Duo Tang to himself, his thoughts and his bleeding legs.

Hmmm, thought Duo Tang. Mother always said- play with fire and expect to get burned- at the very least soil your floor mat.

Duo Tang walked briskly towards the doorway leading to his private parts, for the tea was beginning to have somewhat of an effect and he needed to tend to the punctures on his legs.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

ROBBLOG #275

I must be getting older. Old-timers disease has devilishly crept into my brain.

One summer morning, after an appointment with my Chiropractor Dr. Murray Miller, I was leaving his parking to take care of a few errands. One of the errands was a stop at the dollar store for batteries and stuff.

As I headed south on Andrew Street, I thought- I'll go to the Dollarama on Memorial Avenue at Barrie Road or I could go to the Dollarama on……"

Oh My Gawd! I went blank. I couldn't remember where another dollar store was located in Orillia. Now, in Orillia you see,  Dollars stores are like Tim Hortons- 40 feet apart no matter where you go in the city. It shouldn't have been too hard to figure out and find one.

However, for the life of me, I couldn’t remember where the other dollar store- any dollar store, was located. Now it may just be the sheer number of dollar stores that have opened in this City of Orillia lately that my brain was over-loaded as to the location of another store. The grey matter just couldn't compute on such short start-up. You know, like a GPS it had to re-calculate.

Finally, as I drove along Memorial Avenue  my internal road map told me that one of the other Dollarama
Stores was located in the Fitton’s West Centre. I had been there a gazillion times!
Whew!
It was like mis-placing your keys in a hidden pocket of your shorts or in a zipped pouch in your murse- that's  "manbag" in other speak.

It was just another little, all too familiar lapse of memory.

It can happen when you have so many things on your mind. Right now along with my own day-to-day life I have an entire script- at least my character's dialogue, in my mind. It's been there for six months. I used it once already when I was part of the Norm Foster cast of  "Looking" at the Orillia Opera House's Studio Theatre in February. Now, the same cast and many of the backstage people are performing that same show again in July only this time we are on the Gravenhurst Opera House stage.
It's exciting to be sure but I guess it's taken up a little more of my brain cells than I had originally thought.

Eventually this dialogue will go to that place where all old, unwanted dialogue goes- the "that's history" section of your barin where your internal computer diffuses and erases the memorized lines.

There's always the normal things floating around up in the brain such as the need to buy milk, buy bottled water, purchase coffee filters, get toothpaste, cut the grass or iron a shirt. These duites seem to be kept left of centre. It’s really amazing when you think about all the stuff up there- not even counting short term and long term memory and yes, finding a dollar store too.

I did make my way to the Dollarama. Parked safely- away from stupid drivers- and walked through the front door. Batteries to the right. Coffee filters to the left. Straight ahead more neat stuff.

Got it! My confusion and memory loss seemed to be gone- for a few moments at least.

Did I complete all the other errands I had on my list as well?

Honestly?

I don’t remember…..

Monday, June 6, 2011

ROBBLOG #274


Here I am sitting in front of my keyboard with no idea what I am going to write for my Blog today.

It’s not a question of having nothing to write about.
I do.

I would like to write about friends who ignore what you say. For whatever the reason, pretending that what you're doing is of little importance. The best way to show you that is to ignore you.
Put some space between them and you.
Simply pretend that something doesn’t exist- like the orange cat in Alice in Wonderland.

I would like to write about that charming little gal who slipped a Harper sign into Parliament the other day. A 21 year old who is frightened and concerned for our country’s future. A young lady who knows that Harper is the Devil and understands that he doesn’t speak for Canada or the majority of Canadians. Just 40% of voters chose one of his candidates.

Yet he wins.

Then there’s all the other Canadians who simply ignored, couldn’t make up their mind or just decided to stay home on election day. Not only does Harper not speak on their behalf but those who didn’t vote have no right to say anything about what happens in the House of Commons for at least the next 4 years- unless Harper really does something to ruffle the feathers of Canadians. In that case the Governor General- David Johnson, would step in. I’m not sure if that has ever happened before.

I would like to write about how I sustain myself with a bunch of Conservatives holding the front row seats in our government? I think about Jack Layton's hansome face just across the floor from the Harperites. I am glad that this province- Ontario, is still strongly Liberal- in core values and day to day living. It must fry Mr. Harper’s Alberta Butt that he lives in a province that is provincially strongly Liberal and by the looks and sounds of things with Mr. Hudak leading the provincial Tories, it will probably stay that way. Unless of course the Liberals neglect to inform Ontarians that it was the Mulroney Conservatives who brought in the GST to our land and the Harperites that sent millions to Mr. McGuinty to help “smooth” over the rough spots in combining the GST and PST into the HST. It was a Conservative push.

I would like to write about the young people who congregate on the grassy hill at Couchiching Beach Park and at the end of the day simply leave all their garbage behind.
Where are the Parks and Rec people?
Where are the Bylaw Officers?
The Police?
Why do these young misfits not care about leaving their garbage behind? The hill area and the beach need to be fenced in with security guards keeping an eye. It’s everyone’s park not just these crummy kids and we need to have all our rights protected. Every summer we lose our park to these youngsters who not only little but cuss and swear and scream and shout but won’t move an inch when you try to pass by on foot, rollerblades or bicycle.

Finally, I would like to write about the number of empty buildings in Orillia. Downtown, at the exits and entrances to our City, along residential streets, next to our parks and waterfront and next to businesses trying to make a living. We are a community of broken down and abandoned buildings with storefronts covered in mouldy, faded newspapers- or cardboard, complete with water stains. Then there’s still others with gigantic sheets of plywood or blue tarpaulins covering everything from roofs to windows to doorways.

So that’s it. That’s what I wanted to write about sitting here in front of a keyboard not knowing what I was going to write about today.

Friday, June 3, 2011

ROBBLOG # 273 W E E K E N D Edition


Litter is always a problem.

People who litter are the root of the littering problem.
Yesterday, some lovely little high school student tucked an empty bag of Lay’s chips into a plant at the front of our property.

How thoughtful of the little bugger! Shove it into the foliage of a plant so it wouldn’t blow down the street and yet stay hidden from the eye’s of passerby. Wasn’t that just thoughtful now? I wonder who put him up to that.
Let’s see….
Could it have been…

THE DEVIL?

SATAN?

OLD BEEALZUBUB???

Or all three?
Isn’t that special of the young man who offered up his litter to the world.
(Thank You Church Lady!)

I know it’s a young man littering- although the young women with their proliferation of foul language could be to blame too. As a matter of fact, a few weeks ago I was sitting here writing at my computer, when I was drawn into a conversation between two Valley Girls- they must have lived towards the south end of the valley- judging by their accents. They were cussing and dishing all manner of people from teachers, to boys and fellow lady students too. They walk along the sidewalk on the north side of our house, past a window at my back and that’s when I become part of the conversation. Then, down the sidewalk a few feet and their annoying nasal twang floats though another open window. By the time the young ladies reach the corner of our property, I had turned from my keyboard and was looking out the window at them.

As they turned the corner they decided it would be a shorter walk to cut across our grass between the stop sign and a maple tree. Goodness they must of saved at least half a step!
“Stay on the Sidewalk Please!”- I bellowed!
One gal asked the other-
“What did he say?”
I couldn’t hear her answer.
Before they headed back to school, I made my way to the Garden Shed to get a length of fence- about a foot tall, to stretch between the stop sign and the tree. This might deter their future detours from the sidewalk. So far it has. No path has been forged in a new direction.

Now to the boys.
I’ve seen them drinking their pop and I have found the cans or plastic water bottles lopped on our lawn or down the street on more than one occasion. When I walk the dogs past ODCVI- the high school at the end of our block, I see the same products strewn about. Chips, pop cans, water and juice bottles and tons and tons of cigarette butts.
It’s a shame.
That school is my Alma Mater. In the 60’s the grounds were well-tended.
Grass cut.
Trees pruned.
Flower beds planted.
Although there were a couple of refuse cans, the litter seemed to make it into the can, not scattered around it’s circumference on the ground like it is today.

OCI Class from early 1900's Did they litter? Not likely. Litter wasn't invented until the 1950's
A sign at the school on the West Street, North side boasts an award-winning academia programme. Great they have good marks but no concern about their environment and the shabbiness of the grounds that reflect on the entire neighbourhood. I believe if one picked up all the cigarette butts and laid them end to end, they would form a line to St Andrews/St, James Cemetery and back again- several times.

Weeds snake up between shrubbery. A crude attempt at cutting the lawn leaves flower beds- if one could call them that, looking unruly and shabby. Even though there are garbage cans and litter buckets at entrances along Borland Street East, the ground, sidewalk and edge of the street are literally covered in butts. Even the steps up to a side entrance- covered in graffiti, are really nothing more than one huge, butt-filled ashtray.

Any recourse? What’s the answer?
It’s simple.
Stop littering dammitt!

How much easier can it be? If the students are apparently so adept at learning, why does a simple action like throwing litter in its respectful place, escape them?
Is it too much of a learning curve?
Is it too adult?
Does a student lose face with peers if they pitch litter in a can instead of the ground? I should have taken a picture of the West Street sign with the High School’s entrance in the background- the entrance where tulips fight for prominence with calf-high weeds. Where is the Simcoe County School in regards to this? Isn’t caring for the environment today a simple message?
Maybe there’s no money in the budget.
I would like to check out the exterior of Barrie High Schools. I wonder if they are well-cared for. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were.
It doesn’t take an Ontario Scholar to see that a change of attitude is needed. At least in Orillia. I say get a Bylaw officer and charge ‘em. Let the parents pay a hefty fine and see if there’s progress.

Oh yes, while we’re still talking environment, another gentle reminder-

“Stop littering on the street where I live- Dammitt!!”

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

ROBBLOG # 272


Do We Really Care?...Really?

Some days there are just so many little things that individually none of them make up an entire blog. So here are a few items to teensey-tiny to make up a full Blog.

1. Canada Post is warning us they are going to strike. Hmmm. Like do we really care? I mean really? My bills come online. I never get a letter. Seldom a postcard. Just advertising and some letters- almost daily, from the bank telling us how rich we aren’t! So get out there and strike all through the long, hot summer. Enjoy the fires you startin those big barrels at the checkpoints you set up. I mean if you did a half-decent job I’d be there with you but with the exception of our sub post office in a nearby Shoppers Drug Mart, your customer service stinks- not you Ben!

2. A boy was voted Prom Queen at his High School. He dressed as Lady Gaga to receive the crown.      Ho-Hum.

3. They’re talking about ripping down the old Sundial Restaurant in Orillia. Again?

4. Summer’s here and the young smart-alec assholes and assorted sluts are walking the park again. They’re screaming “Fuck” at the top of their lungs, and forcing us “oldsters” to endure the rough talk (like I can’t stream an impressive string of cusswords together) as we squeeze past them on the boardwalk. As we walked near the parking lot at the north end of Couchiching Beach Park we noticed two “young ladies” sunning in bikinis atop a black pickup truck’s black cap. Right away these young ladies should realize- no advertising needed. You sun on the top of a pickup truck on bikinis and you’re instantly entered in the “Slut Parade”. Yeeeee Haaaawww.

5. Now with this item we may care- but it’s a “we can’t do anything about it unless we take the bus”- which is tough to do crossing the Atlantic or Pacific. situation. As if air fares aren’t staggeringly high enough, airlines around the world including our beloved Air Canada and upstart WestJet, find was to charge passengers extra. For instance in 2009, Air Canada ranked eighth worldwide, charging passengers for this and that- like food. They hauled in $743.7 million in extra revenue. Air Canada also ranked in the top 10 that year for what is called “ancillary revenue per passenger”.
Since then Air Canada doesn’t release figures these days. Hmmm. Must be terribly lucrative this ancillary passenger revenue. This is the same airline that pays its CEO millions. He’s received something like a thousand percent raise in recent years as employees are still held to cutbacks and are having pension plans threatened.
What about little old WestJet? Although smiles and onboard giddiness abound- I hear pilots are regular comedians, they make some extra cash by charging passengers for a second bag.

6. Sir Conrad Black may go back to jail after losing another appeal. Do we really care. For God’s sake just let the man go. We get it already. Even billionaires can go to jail Geesh!

7. A Doctor has told Amy Winehouse to stop drinking or die. She was too drunk to understand. Do we really care?...and just who the hell is Amy Winehouse?

God Hates FAGS?
8. In the wonderful United States of America, a country that all other worldly countries wish to emulate and 90% of Canadian want to be citizens of, the KKK is now protesting against the protesters namely that Baptist Church that hangs out at funerals with those huge signs “God Hates Fags”. Talk about two nothings getting together to make even more nothing. Well it keeps them busy. Isn’t it just the least bit strange that the KKK still exists in America. I daresay if one looks far enough one could find a chapter or two in say- Alberta!! Do we really care? I guess not. At least we try to believe we don’t…

9. Oh Dear. Do we really care? Comedian Andy Dick has been charged with hitting a patron of a comedy club- where he was performing, straight in the face. Wait for it…
With his penis!

10. The NHL returns to Winnipeg. Do we really care? Just an excuse to drink beer and spit it on the fan in the seat in front of you. Charming.